Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Of elder siblings ...

With the kind of personalities Jiya and Vansh have these days, where Jiya is not too wary of new people, smiles at everyone and is willing to go to people who play with her a little and Vansh on the other hand takes his time to watch and observe people at length preferring to stay by our side before letting a select few in his circle of trust, quite naturally the former is an instant hit with almost everyone and invites quite a few compliments on her mannerisms and cuteness. If the interaction with friends or acquaintances is short, Vansh is usually absolutely neglected because he has still not entered his comfort zone with them and started a conversation. And if its long and he does strike a conversation with a few, still somehow the focus shifts and continues to be at Jiya after a while.

As a mother, I am not liking it at all. And even though I do make an effort to make people talk to him but when we get e-mails or messages from friends saying that they miss the kids, especially Jiya, I feel bad. For Vansh too is a splendidly lovely child and although I say that with my vision tinted with maternal love, even then I know its true. His teachers who get to know him well testify my statement.

I really hope and pray its a phase. And even if it is, I don't know how he feels for when I look at him while others play with Jiya, he always has a smile on his face at the silly things she is doing. And so I don't know whether and what I should talk to him about.

Have you as a parent of two or probably an elder sibling yourself gone through this?

14 comments:

Monika said...

dont worry i think its just a phase that he will pass... i have seen some kids who are so quiet and reserved and after some month they become the heart of everything :)

Kodi's Mom said...

am the oldest of three and no, i cant recall being displaced by my two brothers, could be my poor memory!! or maybe such childhood discrepencies didn't have too much of an impact on me. i grew up with the steady confidence that my parents loved me tons and that seemed enough at that point. we can't control how others might feel toward our kids, and even if we did, any emotion they show won't come directly from their hearts. the only thing we can ensure is equal and fair treatment at home, by both parents and maybe grandparents too. i wouldn't bring up such a topic with him unless he brings it up himself or you see other signs that cuold point to his unhappiness.
off topic, but I love your blog header!

noon said...

Hey - this is not about just being the older one...it's a boy a typical boy vs a cute cuddly girl - people naturally gravitate towards the little girl. Esp if she is all cuddly. Which usually seconds ones seem to be. I too feel bad about such things...but now I don't mind so much because KB is really cool about it - he doesn't seem to care...I always give him attention. One time when my brother was visiting I thought he was acting cranky until my sister also arrived - cz my brother is mad about KB and was focusing a lot on KG - acc to him she is a baby so it's OK - but he doesn't realize KB is also a little baby...so anyway other than that one time - that too could be my imagination - could have just been hunger - but really they don't care...don't expect this to change - it never did for my niece and nephew...my niece is still more "popular" with people - my nephew (now grown up) really is happy to be left alone. He knows his parents and his sister love him the same - so he is fine.
But yeah you will feel bad until they grow up some more...

dipali said...

As long as Vansh is OK with it and takes pride in 'his' cute little Jiya, I don't think you really need to do anything beyond giving him oodles of love yourself. And being open to whatever he has to say, about anything. Don't worry. (Though I;m the youngest myself, so I really wouldn't know).

B o o said...

Whats Kodis mom said is so true. If the kids know that the parents love them equally, thats all that matters. Relatives and friends have always had high praise for my sis than me because she was more outgoing. At least I felt that way. Yes, it did affect me especially when people compared. But not much to scar me for life! What the parents think is THE most important thing for a kid, in my opinion.
Anyway, thanks for the heads up! Now I know I ve this thing to handle as well! ;)

Neera said...

monika: ameen :)

kodi's mom: thanks for sharing ur experience. My husband is the older one himself and he said the same thing about not remembering any such incidents. And yes we do make a strong effort to maintain fairness at home.
thanks for the complement on the header, not savvy at all this me, had to work hard on this one :)

noon: Yup I remembered this incident you had told me when I was writing this post. Their hearts have to be really pure and magnanimous not to think on those lines,na? Thanks for sharing your experiences about ur grown up niece and nephew. Something tells me though that both of my kids would prefer being left alone when with people they don't know too well, when they grow up a little more. Even Jiya has started getting overwhelmed after a while when there are too many people.

dipali: Thank you dear! we do display our affection more profusely for him because it matters more to him at this point. We do need to work on being open to whatever he has to say though. Its hard not to preach when at times he says things like not liking Jiya. I know we need to first acknowledge his feelings and then go from there.

boo: Thanks for the insight. I know its so unfair to be compared but am glad that parents can kind of smooth away the worries that the comparison results in in the child's mind.
With the good girl Ashu is being, just cherish these months before Antu starts having a personality of her own :)

Monika,Ansh said...

I was an elder sibling but don't quite remember anything like this, so probably even if it did happen, it did not affect me.
So' that's a positive for u.
But I know how u must be feeling. I wud too in your situation & every time I think of a second baby I cannot imagine how I am going to love that baby as much as I love Ansh. First borns are always special, aren't they?

Preethi said...

dont worry.. this will not affect Vansh in anyway. I remember when my sister was a litle child she is 7 yrs younger so a lot of attention shifted to her by uncles and aunts. But my parents were especially careful and showered me with attention and affection.. so I never noticed it except in the passing! As we grew up, I was the extrovert while my sister was the introvert.. so the exact opposite of whats happening in your house would happen.. I don't think my sister cared! As long as you remain fair and make sure that close relatives remain fair and equal in treatment it will not make a difference I promise!!

PG said...

I guess i don't need to add anything new to what has already been said, but can only repeat that as long as Vansh is Ok with it you don't need to worry. Rishab has also been such child, although he is behaving more and more like an adult now and talk rather to elders than children and How I wish it was the other way round.
I guess it is normal that babies are always a bigger attraction than older kids.

I saw the sweet pictures of Vansh and Jiya dressed in Indian clothes, would have loved to see a couple of more. Vansh was looking so cute in the pagdi and the nice dress !

Neera said...

monika,ansh: Thank you Monika for you personal experience and re-assurance. However I thought the exact same thoughts as you before Jiya was born, had the same fears of not being able to love the second child as much as the first one but it doesn't happen like that. I worried about not being fair to the second child, not loving him/her enough. Ashwini made me look at it in a very beautiful way and said that there would now be 4 people instead of 3 to love and care for each other. So true indeed!

Preethi: Hey thanks for the promise :) It made me beam!

pg: thanks dear! Shall e-mail u the link to the album.
And yeah Vansh too is happy chatting with elders, I think, because he doesn't have to worry about sharing and the likes :)

Mystic Margarita said...

I'm an only child, so prolly not qualified to comment. But like the others said, as long as the parents don't show any differntial treatment, it should be ok. Don't worry.

Suma said...

the younger always gets teh most attention, but i think if you as parents make sure taht they both get their due attention, vansh should not feel left out...which i'm sure you are doing...

Gauri said...

Like the others have said Neera - the younger ones somehow end up getting more attention from friends/relatives etc. Probably due to the fact that the younger ones are born more aggressive than the elder ones.

As long as they both know that their parents love them equally, it will not make any difference to them in the long run.

Yet again Neera, am sure Vansh realises that his parents love both him and Jiya equally. Little children are extremely perceptive, much more than we give them credit for. And he probably is secure in knowing that he too is loved equally that he does not really mind others giving Jiya more attention.

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